Walmart Unveils Online One-Stop Auto Insurance Venture

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
walmart unveils online one stop auto insurance venture

Walmart is the home of low prices on many, many things, from clothes and groceries, to televisions and tires. The retailer also offers a number of financial services, such as prepaid debit cards and money transfers. And of course, they’re even experimenting with heavy-duty truck design for better fuel economy.

As of this week, though, Walmart shoppers can add one more item to their list: Auto insurance.

Detroit Free Press reports Walmart is partnering with price-comparison and shopping website, the latter born out of talks with parent company Tranzutary Insurance Solutions to provide the former’s customer base with a one-stop solution for comparing and purchasing policies online. The service is just now exiting the pilot phase in Pennsylvania, entering additional markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and Walmart’s home state of Arkansas this week prior to a full nationwide rollout later this year.

Though Walmart doesn’t operate, the retailer will heavily market its newest financial offering at the front of the store, selected aisles and online through its own website. Plans offered include those from Progressive, Esurance, Travelers and Safeco.

As for the average annual savings Walmart shoppers would gain from buying their auto policies with their new laptops and Monsters High dolls, Pennsylvania shoppers surveyed claimed to have saved $1,100 annually by going through Walmart’s latest financial venture.

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23 of 84 comments
  • April April on May 01, 2014

    Guess it's inevitable. They have killed off every other business in the small town I grew up in.

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    • Xtoyota Xtoyota on May 01, 2014

      @an innocent man Walmart prices generally cheaper than Target and Walmart has a bigger selection of product. Both stores sell the same Chinese merchandise. It's nearly impossible to buy an American made product.

  • Raresleeper Raresleeper on May 01, 2014

    You know, I like Wal-Mart. Where else can you load up on bullets for your AR-15, milk, eggs, and of course, windshield washer fluid and motor oil all at once (all of the essentials)? On the other hand, Customer Service is nice. Real Customer Service. Not someone looking at you saying "I don't know... sorry... ask that person over there...". They did the Bluebird American Express thing. Whoop Diddy Dooo. That's just what a bunch of subprime debtors need. A prepaid AMEX. Living the dream, baby. No they've got insurance they plan on offering. Heh, I needed a laugh. I'm sure it will take a hell of a lot longer than 15 minutes for a quote. Oh, and by the way, per my May '14 issue of Consumer Reports: an insurance company called "AMICA" is highest recommended on many different levels. Look into it. I'd never heard of them, myself.

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    • Jeff Waingrow Jeff Waingrow on May 01, 2014

      @raresleeper I've had AMICA coverages for the past twenty years. Absolutely the best in every respect. I've never once thought to shop around for a better price.

  • Wmba Wmba on May 01, 2014

    Walmart is just such a depressing place to shop. Decor right out of low rent hell. You know, department stores circa 1962 were more pleasant places to visit in the small town I grew up in. Colorful, bright, not brown putresence with costs shaved to the bone, dim lighting and prices exactly two cents cheaper per item so they can say, we sell for less. Predatory pricing, I call it. So now you will be able to buy car insurance in one of these depressing halls of commerce and save $1.29, while a management trainee with a clipboard makes sure each policy takes less than 11.35 minutes to write up. Just great.

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    • Old Man Pants Old Man Pants on May 01, 2014

      "You know, department stores circa 1962 were more pleasant places to visit in the small town I grew up in." I loved the knotty-pine and sawdust decor, too. Gooseys, ducky-lucks and chickens running in the aisles... the sawdust was real helpful there.

  • CapVandal CapVandal on May 02, 2014

    This is a nothing burger. Go to This is it. Nothing more. It is an online rate comparison website. Walmart isn't going to underwrite the insurance. Isn't going to directly sell it. All they can do is set up a computer and perhaps walk someone through how to compare rates online, which they can already do with no help from Walmart. They won't have binding authority. They won't run DMV records, so even with a quote, the 'customer' will have to go through the insurer's underwriting process. Which is roughly what they would have to do if they bought through any other channel. The same idea has been around forever in one form or another. Selling insurance at bank branches. Getting life insurance agents to cross sell auto insurance, the financial supermarket, &c. Sears actually put together a 'financial supermarket'.,3453361 In the early 80's, Sears bought brokerage, Dean Whitter and real estate broker, Coldwell Banker, the Discover Card, to go with Allstate. The idea collapsed because people didn't want to see their stock broker or real estate agent at Sears. And vise versa. And even shoppers decided they didn't want to shop at Sears. The Walmart venture is more like putting in a vending machine than getting into financial services. Walmart's expertise is in supply chain management. Other companies have caught up. Now they have to deal with both Costco and Dollar Stores as they are attacked from both above and below. And everyone is better at logistics now.